I’m not a religious man, but I’ve long considered the woods my church. It’s where I go to worship nature, contemplate troubles, remember those lost and work on becoming a better person.

As I leaned against the pew of a towering ponderosa Sunday morning, the sun rising over the Uncompahgre Plateau and a tom turkey gobbling within earshot, I thought about Linwood Wallace, my wife’s grandfather. Linwood — an avid outdoorsman, gardener, woodworker, shop teacher, family man and all around great guy — passed away last month.

Leora flew home to Massachusetts for the memorial service this past weekend. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the trip, but I was able to sneak over to Montrose long enough to pay my respects among the pines. Trips to the woods are a little more challenging when the wife is home — particularly when I return with a dead animal in tow.

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